so, by now you probably all know that i'm a bit of a travel addict. i am obsessed with experiencing culture, and for me, half of experiencing culture is experiencing new foods! but being a gluten-free eater, it's always significantly harder to find food i can actually eat while i'm traveling. i often find myself eating nothing but ice cream (not complaining, but some real food is nice on occasion!) fortunately, the whole celiac and gluten-intolerant movement is growing, so it's becoming even easier (remember how hard it was to eat last time i was in italy?)
that being said, it's still not easy. especially in carb-heavy italy. though i read blog post after blog post reassuring me that it wouldn't be hard to find gluten-free food in italy-- that a lot of italians are gluten intolerant-- i wouldn't say that was really the case. although all of the restaurant owners were aware of celiac, it was actually pretty difficult to find restaurants that sold any sort of gluten-free pasta or pizza (anything different than just a salad or risotto or meat dish).
and i mean, when you're in italy, you want pizza and pasta. am i right?
so i'm going to share a few travel secrets from you guys of my favorite gluten-free tips and stops whilst on my around-the-world trip. and i'm starting with the most pleasant of lunches i shared with my lovely friend hannah in rome!
after wandering from restaurant to restaurant, searching for gluten-free pasta, we stumbled upon piazza della rotonda, which just so happens to be the home to the stunning pantheon. a charming italian waiter tried to sell us on the idea of eating at his patio in the piazza (directly facing the pantheon, might i add), but we were hesitant. as a rule, eating anywhere near a big tourist site in any european city is costly and often of low quality.
but signore waiter showed us the menu (bruschetta + pizza or pasta + drink for ten euro), and we looked at the view, and we couldn't turn it down.
so we found ourselves at restaurante neopoli, and i found myself eating gluten-free pasta in rome.
really delicious gluten-free pasta in rome, might i add.
the sauce was fresh and full of herby, tomato-y goodness. and the pasta was cooked perfectly. hannah had a delicious-looking (and she will back me up on this) bruschetta and margherita pizza (to be pictured on another post!)
the warm march sun surrounded us as we enjoyed our food, the surroundings, and each other's good company. it really felt just idyllically roman, in the most touristy of senses. it was just simply pleasant.
want to know a funny little detail? aforementioned charming waiter came over when we asked for the bill and said, "you don't have to pay." we said that we wanted to pay, and so he responded, "okay, you come back and pay tomorrow?" although he was pretty insistent on the idea of us returning the following day to pay (we weren't sure if he was part of the mafia and trying to trap us or just didn't really know how to flirt), we paid our bill and made our way to explore the inside of the pantheon.
which, for the record, was incredible.
moral of the story?: when in rome, do as the (celiaca) romans do. eat at neopoli's and visit the pantheon.
more gluten-free eats abroad to come... next gluten-free friday! XO.